Nutritional State and Feeding Behaviors of Children With Eosinophilic Esophagitis and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

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Objective:As both gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) are associated with malnutrition and feeding dysfunction, this study compares growth, nutrition, and feeding behaviors in children with GERD and EoE.Methods:Subjects ages 1 to 7 years with GERD or EoE were enrolled in a prospective study. Assessments included length/height, weight, 3-day food diary, serum biomarkers of nutrition, and the Behavioral Pediatric Feeding Assessment Scale.Results:Mean weight-for-length z scores in GERD and EoE children were −0.93 and −1.14 (p = NS) and mean body mass index z scores were 0.29 and −0.13 (P = NS). Vitamin D intake was below the daily recommended intake in GERD subjects. EoE subjects’ intake was below daily recommended intake of Vitamin D and calcium. GERD and EoE groups both had normal intake of calories, carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and iron, and normal serum ferritin (25 vs 34 ng/mL), prealbumin (21 vs 20 mg/dL), parathyroid hormone (42 vs 37 pg/mL), and Vitamin D (both 30 ng/mL). Behavioral Pediatric Feeding Assessment Scale problem and frequency scores were similar in GERD and EoE subjects but were higher than those of a historical cohort of healthy controls (Hedges’ g of 0.95 and 1.1, respectively). EoE subjects on food allergen restriction diets had significantly less feeding dysfunction than those on regular diets.Conclusions:As a selected group of children with uncomplicated GERD or EoE were without nutritional deficiencies but had maladaptive feeding, providing anticipatory guidance to minimize mealtime challenges, monitoring for improvement, or referring to a feeding therapist, may be beneficial. A trial of food allergen restriction may provide additional benefit for those with EoE.

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